A Strange Girl’s Path To Creating Strange and Beautiful Things

Krsy Fox traces her creative journey from horror fan to actress, rock musician and now prolific genre movie writer-director.

My journey to film was definitely unconventional. I was a kid who was drawn to dark humor, horror, rock music. I loved to be scared, to say the thing that would shock the room. I was always a performer, but I grew up on an island in British Columbia. My hometown was not only small, but there is something disconcerting about being completely disconnected from the rest of the world. Having to take a ferry just to reach the mainland. It always felt suffocating to me and I always felt stuck. People around me would have dreams that to me just felt small. I knew I wanted more and had to figure out how to get it. I was told over and over that there was no way I could be an actress, a singer, make movies. “You have to know someone.” “That’s, like, one in a trillion.” All of this probably felt true to the people who said it to me. But I just didn’t believe it. All it did was make me determined to prove them wrong.

I would definitely say I was a black sheep. Most 12-year-old girls where I was from did not like any of the same things I did. The only real thing we could agree on was the Spice Girls. They had such a strong image and their songs were cool, so I was totally on board with them. I remember walking home from school in sixth grade and finding a book of CDs. I looked around but there was no one to claim them. I took them home and my world exploded with the music I discovered. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Body Count, Eminem. They used foul language and said things no one else would. The music was amazing and it changed so much for me. I didn’t grow up in a house with real music lovers. My parents would just listen to whatever country artist was hot at the time, or random top 40 music. They’d never really heard of the Smashing Pumpkins. I remember asking my mom if she liked Madonna; she said, “Who’s that?”

Krsy Fox rocking her The Craft T-shirt on the set of her movie I Live Alone.

I realized I was definitely on my own with this. But after finding that book of amazing albums, every Christmas and birthday wish list was just a stack of CDs and movies. Getting lost in a crazy film or new album was the only time my heart felt whole. My parents also never really cared what type of films I would watch. I’ll never forget the moment I stumbled across the original version of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I was horrified to the core of my being, but I also couldn’t wait to watch it again. Nothing can give me a rush quite like that. Tobe Hooper had transported me right into a living nightmare. It changed so much for me, being able to feel so many emotions at once just by watching a film.

I began getting obsessed with movies and discovering anything new and dangerous I could. Everything changed when I saw The Craft for the first time. I didn’t know exactly what it would be like, but five minutes into the film I finally felt understood. Those were the girls I wanted to be friends with, that I wanted to be like. I realized that if someone had made this movie, it must mean there were a lot of other people in the world just like me. I felt seen, and excited. Another film that year that completely rocked my whole world was Scream. The fact that something could be that fucking scary but also funny and have you care about the characters – I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that one day. A lot of these films strongly influence my writing and style to this day, and helped shape me as an artist.

Krsy Fox and Steven Mackintosh in Underworld: Evolution.

When I was twelve I met my dad. He lived in Vancouver and did the sets on The X-Files. After our first lunch together, I realized, “Hey, now I know somebody in film!” All I was ever told was that I needed to know somebody. Now, my dad had nothing to do with any of the parts of film I wanted to pursue, but that small thing was enough to give me the confidence to get my real first acting agent. I would make trips over to Vancouver to audition, and my dad and I would bond over our mutual love of movies. Especially horror films. There were a lot of ups and downs in my life from there, but I finally took the leap and moved to Vancouver at 15 so I could really dive into my acting. I fell in love with auditioning and learned everything I could through the experience.

In 2005, I got cast in the film Underworld: Evolution. The process of becoming a vampire in Len Wiseman’s vision really inspired me to take a deeper look into directing and writing. I loved how hands on he was, the way he worked with the actors. Not to mention, getting to work with such huge actors that I looked up to, like Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Steven Mackintosh and Sir Derek Jacobi, was insane for me. I went on to act in a film called In the Land of Women, in which I played one of Kristen Stewart’s best friends. Our first night of shooting, Meg Ryan was watching. (No pressure or anything.) I then tested the waters on some other film and TV projects.

Krsy Fox with her band Knee High Fox.

My love of music was still very much there, so I began writing with some bands I knew from Vancouver. I never went to music school or was classically trained, I just trusted my words and wrote from the heart. Rather unexpectedly, several songs I co-wrote with the amazing band Theory of a Deadman blew up and I had my first number one radio hit with them. It was exciting and inspiring to see what I could do of my own accord, through relationships I had built. I knew I wanted to keep making music and now bands were calling me! Since that first hit, I’ve had three number one singles and at least 10 top 10 singles. It was an exciting time of getting publishing deals and forming my own band, Knee High Fox, which I fronted. I finally got to be the one to go on tour, performing to rooms full of people. It was a high I’d never felt before. Things really came full circle when my band got to open up for bands I’d listened to from that original book of CDs I’d found as a teenager, the bands that made me want to write music in the first place. It was a very surreal time for me.

Even though I was loving making music, I started getting the ache for film. I missed acting. I wanted to say more than I was able to in the music videos I was directing. I had written several scripts and at the very beginning of 2020, I decided I was going to go for it. I made my first narrative short, What the Spell?, which I wrote, directed, and starred in. As this was the first thing I’d ever made, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I was incredibly proud of it and it was something I would want to watch. That’s what truly mattered to me in the end. Over the years, I had taught myself to edit, sound design and, of course, make music. I did all the post on my film, and it was exhilarating to have complete creative control, and not have to wait on anyone else. I decided to submit the short to a bunch of festivals, having no expectations other than to enjoy and learn from the process. I was floored when the short was accepted into more than 50 different well-known film festivals, and won a ton of awards. It was a feeling I had never quite felt before. It dawned on me that I could just write scripts and decide to make something cool anytime I wanted. It was all in my hands and there was nothing getting in my way. I’d assembled the absolute best crew imaginable on my short and my partner Spider One and I had created our own production company, OneFox Productions, designed to make homegrown horror and sci-fi films. Everything was going in the right direction, and then COVID hit.

Krsy Fox with co-star Azure Parsons in Fox’s short What the Spell?

I had known for a while that the next thing I wanted to do was a feature. I fell in love with the idea of it being a monster movie, but with a deeper, darker message. I, of course, love a good creature feature and creating my own was a dream come true. It was nearing August 2020 when I realized (as many of us did) that this pandemic wasn’t going away anytime soon. I knew I had a decision to make. Either retreat into depression and give up on all of the momentum I had built, or go for it and shoot this film.

We decided to put together a skeleton crew and have the minimum number of people on set, shooting with different members of our talented cast on different days. I wrote, directed, produced, edited, colored, sound-designed, composed and starred in the film. We ended getting through the entire feature, Frank, in a six-and-a-half-day shoot. All that did was prove to me that I didn’t need to wait around for the perfect time and perfect circumstance to make something that I and my crew could be proud of. We could keep people safe, and do something on a small budget that looked and felt much larger. Shortly after completing Frank, I made my second feature, I Live Alone; both films are available on VOD now). I also produced, starred in, and did the post for the film, Allegoria, written and directed by Spider One, which is due out later in 2022.

Krsy Fox directing her first feature I Live Alone.

I guess the point of this piece is to tell other new filmmakers like myself that anything is possible. Get out of your own way and just start creating. Film in a location you can afford. Get the right crew of talented people around you (and you don’t need many). Get one great actress or actor. Be creative and learn as many skills as possible yourself. You don’t need to go to an expensive film school, if you can’t afford it. You don’t need a million-dollar budget to make something incredible that shows the world what you’re capable of. Perfect your skills, always be open to learning from the people you work with, love the process and appreciate it every day. I promise you it will show. It always does when a filmmaker is creating something out of love and passion. Just like any writer-director, I of course want to make that $300 million movie, but until then I will still keep creating. Sometimes making films with partners and production companies, and sometimes alone. Whether the budget is $500 or $30 million, my films will continue to be inspired by the movies and music that impacted my life so greatly. My generation has a unique voice, and I’m happy to have mine heard and seen. And I know the path my life has taken is the reason I’m able to be so fulfilled by what I’m doing right now.

Krsy Fox began acting professionally at the age of 12, appearing in the films Underworld Evolution, In the Land of Women and Nightmare at the End of the Hall, and the CW series Aliens In America. She garnered three #1 radio hit songs and seven Top 10 singles with bands like Theory of a Deadman and Halestorm, toured internationally as the frontwoman of her own band Knee High Fox, and is planning a release of all new music with her latest band, Quinn. Fox also scores all of her films. Krsy began the production company OneFox Productions with fellow musician and filmmaker Spider One. After producing and directing several music videos, in 2020 Krsy wrote, directed, and starred in the short film What the Spell? and wrote, directed, edited, executive produced, and starred in the horror feature film Frank, which was released October 25th 2021. Her second feature as writer-director, I Live Alone, starring Bonnie Aarons, was released in December 2021 through Gravitas Ventures. Krsy also is the co-creator of the fiction podcast Bleeders DIEgest on the Bloody Disgusting podcast network, which releases a completely original scary story each week told in a fully immersive theatrical experience.